Pearls of Wisdom: Picky Eaters

Although your toddler is beginning to develop his own taste palate and show preferences for food, he can be quite unpredictable when it comes to what he will eat at mealtime, with variations from day to day. Oftentimes their favorite food, or what you thought was their favorite food, could end up on the floor the next day. Likewise, the meal that ended up on the floor the day prior could turn out to be the food they can’t get enough of. Hot and cold as each day passes – just like the plate you put in front of them!

Most toddlers are — plain and simple — picky eaters. Others eat only certain foods – or refuse to do so as a way to assert independence. The amount of food they consume from one meal to the next can also change constantly and this inconsistency can cause a good deal of frustration to a parent or caregiver. The good news is, over time, your toddler’s eating patterns will reach equilibrium. Continuing to offer them healthy food choices and allow your youngster to find something he likes with or without you pushing them to do so will establish a regular and healthy diet.

Until they reach the age of four years old, children have not mastered the grinding motion essential in chewing food, so offer your picky eater safe finger foods such as baby crackers or a thin slices of banana; stay away from foods that could be choking hazards such as nuts, grapes, hard candy, hot dogs etc. Allow him to enjoy feeding himself and sit with him while he eats. This gives him a sense of independence and establishes a routine of sitting with the whole family during meals. Parents can utilize this time at the dinner table to model healthy eating habits that you want him to adopt as he gets older.  Remember that showing your children what to do and how to do it is much more effective than telling them without backing up those words with actions.

If your child refuses one food from a food group, offer him another form of the same food group. For example, try giving him chicken, pork or fish if he refuses to eat beef. If he won’t drink milk, substitute this for low-fat cheese or yogurt. Try pairing a food that he loves with a food that he refused in the past. Keep offering a food that was refused before repeatedly with breaks in between. Sometimes, it may take a few attempts before he actually develops a taste for it. Make food attractive and playful. For example, serve food with bright colors or make smiley faces or animal shapes using cut vegetables or fruit strips. Try to kick up a notch the nutritional value of dishes by adding healthy ingredients. For instance, you can add non-fat dry milk to shakes and soups or mixing fruits and vegetables like zucchini, sweet potatoes or apples to muffins, breads, meatloaf or pasta. Finally, be a good role model by practicing healthy eating habits and having sit down meals as a family at least 3-5 times a week.

Children have different nutritional requirements than adults.  Your child’s food portions are smaller compared to yours. A child who is thriving and energetic is more than likely getting enough food substrates to sustain both his growth and his energy requirements. If you have serious concerns about your child’s eating habits and are worried about his growth and development, make an appointment with your pediatrician. He can show you where your child’s height and weight is on the growth curve relative to other children his or her age, offer some reassurance and determine whether it’s necessary to pursue further workup or testing to look for any underlying medical problems.

All information contained in this blog and on our web site(s) should be independently verified by you by a medical professional of your own choosing and you should always conduct your own research and due diligence before making any decision related to the subject matter of this blog or our web site. 

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Dr. Pearl

Dr. Pearl Cenon

A pediatrician in private practice in New Jersey for over 15 years, Dr. Cenon (we like to call her Dr. Pearl) also has two children of her own. Dr. Pearl’s husband, Kevin McDonough is also a pediatrician and they work together. She writes basic posts about topics that interest many parents, from skin care and nutrition to seasonal issues, such as allergies and colds. Her kind, approachable tone in each blog post will have you looking forward to the next one.

Fashion Friday: Camp’s In

In the early morning hours along the tree-lined streets of New York City’s Upper West Side and Upper East Side neighborhoods, kids dressed in matching T-shirts and cotton shorts are mingling on sidewalks as moms and nannies spray them down with bug spray—this ritual means only one thing: summer camp season is finally here.

School is out, the fireworks have been set off and now that everyone has had their fill of hot dogs and ice cream, kids are getting into their summer routine. This year summer camp options are as diverse as ever, as camps catering niche interests like filmmaking, culinary arts, and jewelry making are springing up across the country. At Michigan’s Museum of Natural History, Muggles can channel their inner-wizard at a Harry Potter themed science camp, or test their survival skills at Hunger Games camp in Alexandria, VA.

Traditionalists can still get their fill of the Great Outdoors. According to the American Camp Association, 47 percent of camps are overnight programs. And the most popular camp activities skew tried-and-true. ACA reports recreational swimming, arts and crafts, rope challenges, archery, and aquatic activities to be the hottest items on camp itineraries.

Those activities may seem basic, but the camp business is a $15 billion dollar industry and as any parent knows, it takes a lot more than just bug spray to get kids prepared for the their summer adventure. Luckily, apparel and outdoor brands are offering smart, kid-friendly camp essentials to make their summer memories even brighter.

So take out your summer camp packing list and check off these must-have items!

The Grasshopper Backseat

 

 

 

Carry On

From flashlights and sunscreen to an extra set of clothes, campers must be prepared for anything. Backpacks are the easiest way to tote around these essentials, and bags from the likes of Keen go a step further with a built-in seat for when tots need a break. The Grasshopper Backseat pack features a back panel that folds down into a camp chair.

 

 

ByeByeBugs

 

 

Bug Off

Between dunks in the pool and sweaty games of Capture the Flag, kids are bound to need a second shot of insect repellent spray. Treated with EPA-approved, all-natural Insect Shield®, which repels insects like fleas, ticks and mosquitoes, ByeByeBugsleg and arm warmers offer an extra layer of protection from summertime pests.

 

 

Ouchies

 

 

 

Band Camp

What’s a summer without a couple of minor scratches and scrapes? When a trip to the camp nurse isn’t necessary, bandages from Ouchies will do the trick with colorful and zany prints likes zoo animals, dinosaurs and candy.

 

 

 

 

 

Itzy Ritzy

 

Make a Splash

When a plastic grocery store bag just won’t do, wet bags from Itzy Ritzy help keep damp clothes separate from dry items and pricey electronics that kids might sneak in. The bags have sealed seams to prevent leaks and odors and are available in funky, colorful prints that make it easy for even the youngest kids to find them in their jammed-packed backpacks.

 

 

Lifefactory

 

 

Keep Cool

When exploring the Great Outdoors, do the Earth good with eco-friendly water bottles by Lifefactory. The BPA-free glass bottles are outfitted with a protective silicone sleeve that provides grip and helps prevent breakage and they won’t fill up a landfill.

 

 

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About the Author:

Angela Velasquez

With 4 years of experience as a children’s stylist and magazine editor, Angela brings you an insider’s perspective on trends and seasonal looks that will make babies and toddlers shine in their holiday photos and at birthday parties!  Angela also has a way of making everyday clothes and accessories look special — she’ll show you how.

Pearls of Wisdom: First Aid 101

School’s out and most youngsters are letting loose outside, which is what summer is all about, but during summer, there’s an increase in the chances of accidental injuries. Kids are prone to scrapes and bruises on their knees or elbows, but it’s every mother’s nightmare is to see her baby or toddler severely injured. The sight of blood can be frightening, but it’s important to stay calm and in control, especially in front of your toddler. Better and sound decisions are made when nerves are settled.

Cuts & Lacerations:

Firstly, apply direct pressure to stop all active bleeding using a clean gauze or cloth over the injury for at least five minutes. Do not release pressure prematurely as this may result in more bleeding. If bleeding resumes after continuous pressure, call your doctor right away. Even minor cuts to the head and/or face can bleed profusely because of the rich vascular supply to these areas. If the cut is small and you feel comfortable treating it at home, wash the wound with soap and water until you get rid of all dirt and debris. Apply an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment, e.g. Neosporin, then cover it with a sterile wrap. Applying a butterfly bandage to minor cuts to hold edges together during the healing process provides excellent protection.

Remember that even small cuts that don’t bleed excessively can still be deep (more than ½ inch) and need medical attention. Injury to the underlying nerves, muscles and tendons can occur even if a surface wound appears non-threatening. Lacerations on the face, chest and back may leave disfiguring scars if the wound does not heal properly. Suturing these types of wounds by a trained medical professional can ensure proper healing and result in less visible scars.

If in doubt, visit your doctor so she can examine the wound for foreign objects such as dirt or glass that can lead to infection and poor wound healing. Your child may not allow thorough examination of the wound, particularly if he is in pain and/or distress; in this situation, your doctor can apply a local anesthetic called lidocaine so she can examine it better.

Note from the BabyLegs team: BabyLegs can protect from scraped knees and elbows and can also be used to protect bandages and gauze, casts, and any other dressings.

Burns:

Serious burns in children can result from sunburn, hot-water scalds, fire or electrical contact, a hot iron or chemicals. As quickly as you can, submerge the burn area in cold water for as long as your child can withstand it to cool the area and relieve the pain. It is not recommended to use ice since this may delay healing. Rubbing on the burn area can also cause it to blister.

Soak any smoldering clothing in cold water followed by removal of any clothing from the burned area unless it is tightly adhering to the burned surface. In this instance, cut away as much clothing as possible. Cover the burn with a sterile gauze or a dry cloth and seek medical attention immediately. Stay away from home remedies such as applying butter, grease or powder on burns as all of these can only make the injury worse.

Animal Bites:

Majority of animal bites in children are inflicted by animals that the child knows, including the family cat or dog. Even though these bites are minor, they can cause disfigurement and scarring if bitten on the face, and can also result in anxiety and fear. There are estimated 4.7 million dog bites, 400,000 cat bites, 45,000 snake bites and 250,000 bites by other people (mostly children) reported annually from pediatric emergency centers. 50 out of every 100 people bitten by a cat get an infection, compared to 20 of every 100 following dog or human bites.

If active bleeding is noted, apply direct pressure to area for at least 5 minutes. Then wash wound thoroughly with soap and water and consult your pediatrician. Regardless of how minor the bite appears, contact your pediatrician so he can check if your child has been adequately immunized against tetanus or if he needs treatment for rabies.

Poisons:

Most children who swallow poisons recover, especially if they received immediate medical attention.

Once you discover that your child has ingested any form of poison, stay calm and notify your pediatrician. Also immediately call the national toll-free number for Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222 accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You will be speaking to experts who can give you step-by-step instructions on what to do depending on the type of poison your child ingested.

Nosebleeds:

Most nosebleeds are caused by a child picking the nose, an accidental blow to the nose, or sinusitis and allergies. In the event of a nosebleed, have your child sit down and using his thumb and index finger, pinch the area just behind the tip of nose while opening the mouth to breathe and placing head down between the knees. Younger children may require an adult to do this for them. Bleeding normally stops after 5-10 minutes. Usual blood loss from nosebleeds are minimal, however if bleeding continues for more than 10-15 minutes of pressure, call your doctor or take him to the emergency room for a possible cautery.

From my family to yours, I wish all of you BabyLeggers and fun, happy, and safe summer with your children. Enjoy them while they are young!

All information contained in this blog and on our web site(s) should be independently verified by you by a medical professional of your own choosing and you should always conduct your own research and due diligence before making any decision related to the subject matter of this blog or our web site. 

———–

Dr. Pearl

 

Dr. Pearl Cenon

A pediatrician in private practice in New Jersey for over 15 years, Dr. Cenon (we like to call her Dr. Pearl) also has two children of her own. Dr. Pearl’s husband, Kevin McDonough is also a pediatrician and they work together. She writes basic posts about topics that interest many parents, from skin care and nutrition to seasonal issues, such as allergies and colds. Her kind, approachable tone in each blog post will have you looking forward to the next one.

 

Staff Picks: Tweens

StellaOne of the most stylish 10-year-old girls we know, Stella O’Brien is daughter of our VP of Marketing.  She’s been a fan and advocate of BabyLegs for years, and still enjoys pairing them with her favorite outfits as a finishing touch that adds interest.

“BabyLegs are easy, fun and cool to wear — they’re extremely versatile and add a pop of color if you need to brighten. When I layer them, I always get compliments so kids should be prepared to get compliments if they wear them!”

These are STELLA’s PICKS for TWEENS (though most items are available in toddler sizes as well), in her own words:

Stella_1

 

 

 

 

Since the bows are dressy, the sequins are perfect — sequins make everything go POP!  Also, the black in the shorts adds sophistication so the outfit’s not TOO girly! Shorts and tee from Gap.com.

 

 

 

 

Stella_22

 

 

 

This pairing with a crew-cuts dress is really timeless. The stripes of red add a surprise to the outfit and creates a classic “sailor girl” look.

 

 

 

 

Stella_3

 

 

 

 

The ruffles on the tee soften these “fierce” armwarmers! I picked the gray skinny jeans because they look dressier than blue denim.

Pearls of Wisdom: Sun Safety Tips

A short season to many, summer means a jam packed season of vacations, barbecues, water parks and plenty of time spent outside with loads of sun exposure. Enjoying the warm weather is important physically, socially and mentally after a long and brutally cold winter. However, parents must be very aware of the damages done by UVR rays. Harmful damage by UV radiance is extremely dangerous to children, especially those that are fair skinned, freckle or sunburn easily, or have a history of melanoma in their family. It comes as no surprise that lifelong protection from the sun should start at an early age. Here are a few tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics on how to protect your children from the harmful effects of sun exposure.

Babies under 6 months:

  • Avoid direct sun exposure as much as possible in this age group.
  • Dress babies in lightweight long pants, long sleeved shirts and wide –brimmed hats that give ample coverage for the face and neck. Find shade under a tree, umbrella or the stroller canopy.
  • When proper clothing and shade are not available, parents can apply sunscreen with at least SPF 15 sparingly to small areas e.g. face, neck, and back of hands with special care around the eye area.
  • If they get sunburn, apply cool compresses to burnt areas.
  • Make sure babies are drinking enough water to stay hydrated.

1 year old and up:

  • The most effective line of defense against harmful UV ray exposure is covering up! Wear a hat with a three-inch brim or a bill that faces forward, sunglasses that provide 97%-100% protection against UVA and UVB rays, and cotton clothing with a tight weave, or UV protective clothing. The less light that shines through the fabric, the better.
  • Try to find shade when possible and limit sun exposure between the hours of 10 am to 4 pm, when UV rays are the strongest. Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or more on both sunny and cloudy days. Make sure you are applying enough (roughly one ounce per sitting for a young adult) and re-apply every 2 hours, or after excess sweating or coming out of the swimming pool.
  • Exercise more caution in areas near water, snow, concrete or sand as they reflect UV rays and cause sunburn even faster.
  • Sunscreen can offer protection from sunburn and some skin cancers, but only if used correctly. Always remember that sunscreen is used for sun protection and not as a reason to stay in the sun longer.

Choosing the right sunscreen:

  • Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or more. The higher the SPF, the more UVB protection the sunscreen has.
  • Look for the label that says “broad spectrum”- which means it gives protection for both UVB and UVA rays.
  • Look for the new UVA star rating system on the label with one star offering the lowest UVA protection and four star the highest protection.
  • Choose a sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium oxide on sensitive areas of the body. These products stay visible on the skin even after rubbing them in and some come in fun colors that kids will love.
  • Some brands of sunscreen may burn baby’s eyes, so look for a baby-friendly one that may even have “safe around the eye area” listed on the packaging.

Warm, sunny days are here and the sun certainly feels good on our skin, especially after a long, cold winter. But just remember that what feels good can also harm you and your children.  Protect your family this summer. My Pearl of Wisdom for today?  “Block the sun and have loads of fun!”

The BabyLegs team is happy to share Pearls of Wisdom with our readers and this week, we’d like to add that our BabyCool!  line of UVA/UVB protective warmers, made of breathable mesh fabric, is an excellent supplement to sunscreen and other protective sun apparel and accessories. The complete line of BabyCool! styles for both boys and girls can be viewed at www.babylegs.com.

All information contained in this blog and on our web site(s) should be independently verified by you by a medical professional of your own choosing and you should always conduct your own research and due diligence before making any decision related to the subject matter of this blog or our web site. 

———–

Dr. Pearl

 

Dr. Pearl Cenon

A pediatrician in private practice in New Jersey for over 15 years, Dr. Cenon (we like to call her Dr. Pearl) also has two children of her own. Dr. Pearl’s husband, Kevin McDonough is also a pediatrician and they work together. She writes basic posts about topics that interest many parents, from skin care and nutrition to seasonal issues, such as allergies and colds. Her kind, approachable tone in each blog post will have you looking forward to the next one.